By Arab News
The Iranian Embassy in Riyadh was involved in a plot to recruit 200 dissidents in the Kingdom to launch operations that would undermine the country’s security, including spying for Tehran.
This was one of the main charges announced by the state prosecution recently in the case involving two defendants who had been arrested for being part of a spy cell operating in the Kingdom on behalf of Iran.
Defendant No. 21 was accused of using his house as a base to hold meetings with three Iranian intelligence agents working at the Iranian Embassy in Riyadh, and supplying them with top secret intelligence reports and information on the Kingdom in exchange for money.
The defendant is also charged with providing Iranian intelligence operatives with an electronic device or computer used for espionage, and traveling to Turkey to meet with several others where he provided them with security information related to the Kingdom.
The prosecution also alleged that the defendant provided Iranian intelligence with reports on some public and private cases in the Kingdom, information on university students and unrest in one of the provinces. He also allowed an Iranian intelligence official to copy several pieces of vital information from his computer.
The defendant is accused of providing Tehran the names of 200 terrorists who turned against their country to support Iran, economic reports about the Kingdom and the names of Shiite families living here.
Defendant No. 22, a bank official, has been accused of discussing a request from Iranian intelligence agents to link them with Shiite investors, to encourage them to invest in Iran and support the country’s objectives in the Kingdom.
He also allegedly discussed the situation in the Eastern Province and the region with Iranian intelligence officers, and met them in his home several times. Meanwhile, a judge at the criminal court in Riyadh has accused a lawyer working for some suspects of seeking to delay court procedures by making repeated requests to see his clients.
The judge said that it appeared the lawyer was trying to create a show for the media. He said the rules allowed ample time for lawyers to consult with their clients, within the constraints of security regulations.
— With inputs from Abdul Hannan Tago